Graduate Student Conference


Every other year the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre (TMTC) hosts a Graduate Student Conference. One of the only conferences of its kind, its purpose is to provide Mennonite graduate students an opportunity to present their academic research with other graduate students in an interdisciplinary context and interact with each other as colleagues. The location for the conference rotates between various Mennonite academic institutional supporters of TMTC.

Ninth Biennial Graduate Student Conference

hope, despair, lamentHope, Despair, Lament

The ninth biennial Graduate Student Conference hosted by the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre will explore the theme of hope, despair, lament. The primary purpose of the conference is to provide a forum for graduate students who work on Anabaptist/Mennonite related topics and/or who identify with Anabaptist/Mennonite traditions to present their ongoing academic research in an interdisciplinary context and engage with each other as colleagues and peers.

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Habakkuk 1:2 (NRSV)

The Planning Committee is delighted to announce that this conference has been rescheduled for this upcoming summer. We believe that the circumstances of the last year make the theme of this conference even more relevant and are reissuing the call for proposals.

What is the role of hope, despair, and lament for a people of peace in a world marked by polarization, violence, and ecological catastrophe? How might church make sense of an uncertain future, and what possible futures might emerge from and for the church? Are there resources within Anabaptist/Mennonite faith traditions that speak to our current moment? The ninth biennial Graduate Student Conference hosted by the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre (TMTC) invites you to help us explore these and related questions. We invite proposals for scholarly papers and other presentations aimed at a scholarly audience that explore hope, despair, and/or lament.

We welcome proposals from disciplines including but not limited to theology, biblical studies, patristics, pastoral/practical studies, ethics, philosophy, religious studies, peacebuilding and conflict transformation studies, anthropology, sociology, gender studies, diaspora and transnational studies, history, literature, and musicology.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, the planning committee has decided to move toward a “hub-city” model if public health guidelines permit. Centres in Harrisonburg, Winnipeg, and Southern Ontario will limit travel and keep gathering sizes small. Should this not prove possible for whatever reason, the conference will move fully online. Please be assured that all conference activities will follow all public health guidelines and will adapt to local circumstances as necessary. The planning committee is committed to the safety and accommodation of all conference participants and you are welcome to contact us about any aspect of the conference. TMTC expects to make travel bursaries available to qualifying presenters and additional details will be released as they are confirmed.

For those of you that had proposals accepted in 2020, the planning committee is happy to accept these for 2021. If you would like to make a change, you are welcome to do so following the same procedures for those submitting new proposals by sending your proposal, including a title, with a maximum of 300 words to TMTC by 28 February 2021. For the purposes of blind review, please do not include your name and affiliation in your paper proposal – only in your email message.

Planning committee

Members of the planning committee for the 2021 conference include Benjamin Bixler, Gerald Ens, Heyjung (Jessie) Yum, and Kyle Gingerich Hiebert. Questions, comments, and suggestions are welcome and can be directed to TMTC.